In 2014, our Australian dance companies have been working on some brave and surprising collaborations that foster health, wellbeing and social change. In 2014 KAGE will premiereTeam of Life at the Melbourne Festival, Bangarra collaborated with beyondblue to create the short film Stories for Keeping Strong—Bangarra Rekindling, Shaun Parker collaborated with multicultural urban youth to create The Yard, which tackles loneliness, competition, survival and bullying, Australian Dance Theatre's work Proximity inspired a new approach to stroke rehabilitation, and BalletLab created a work about AIDS with community participants and the Victorian AIDs Council.
Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, which takes place every summer in Massachusetts USA, is lauded worldwide as a "hub and mecca of dancing"..."one of America's most precious cultural assets"....and "the dance center of the nation." Phoebe Barnes, Australian dancer & teacher, talks about her exciting experience at the 2014 Festival.
All Ausdance members are automatically members of the World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific and it's a great opportunity to extend your own networks and participate in new culturally diverse opportunities at the annual WDA conferences and festivals.
Julie Dyson and Cheryl Stock discuss Australian Dance in Shifting Sands: Dance in Asia and the Pacific.
Recent Asia–Australia dance theatre collaborations.
Cheryl Stock, Artistic Director of Dancenorth (1984–1995) talks about a large-scale site-specific community dance project specially devised for the Townsville community in 1994. Originally published in Dancers and communities: a collection of writings about dance as a community art
This book tells us about some of the ways community dance evolves. I couldn't put it down. Like a good novel, its characters are fascinating, the stories captivating, and the twists and turns keep one interested, for it's as Shirley McKechnie says in the preface, 'a many faceted story of places, people and artists working together in partnerships concerned with discovery and celebration' (p.vii).
And yet there is no formula for being a successful community artist; every project requires a different approach. Flexibility, sensitivity, spontaneity, enthusiasm, honour, commitment, patience, exhaustion, resilience and pride permeate these pages, as do stories of ordinary people creating magic moments for themselves and others, through the facilitation of this person called a community dancer.
Arguably the largest and most complex independent project of this nature staged in Australia, Dr Cheryl Stock's accented body was a project of small break-through discoveries and ongoing creative partnerships.
More than 25 Australian’s will travel to the 2014 World Dance Alliance Global Summit to talk, perform and share the latest in dance thinking and practice-led research. You’ll find some terrific tools and ideas that might change the way you approach your own creative or teaching practice, or inspire you to try something new.
Australian participants in International Young Choreographer Project share the challenges and surprises of producing a work in unknown circumstances, in a limited time-frame, and with unfamiliar dancers. Learn how it changed their choreographic and artistic processes.
Creative Director of Dance Integrated Australia talks about Corner Dance Lab and New Works Forum in Hong Kong, which will explore ways of producing inclusive performances for artists with diverse backgrounds and physical abilities.
Ausdance National CEO Roslyn Dundas shares her 2014 Australian Youth Dance Festival experience. Held in Renmark on the border of South Australia and Victoria, this was the eighth Australian Youth Dance Festival (AYDF).
Choreographer Kay Armstong, the 2013 recipient of the Ausdance Peggy van Praagh Choreographic Fellowship, talks about "three synergistic professional development activities" that have been enabled by this Fellowship.
Stephen Page's 2004 International Dance Day message and the 2012–13 video messages.
Jacqueline Simmonds interviews David McMicken at Tracks Dance Collective, Brown's Mart Community Arts Project, Darwin, November 1995.
Humanoid robots performing a surprisingly emotive performance, emerging global street-dance culture, revved up by the Internet, a choreographer's creative process in real time, Angela Patton: A father-daughter dance ... in prison and Matt Cornell demonstrates the power of movement and its effect on our state of being.
Shirely McKechnie tells us why this collection of writing about community dance is so valuable: 'They speak of the human need to give expression to deeply felt connections and unique situations; but they also ask questions. Whose dances? What is their purpose? Can everyone participate? They convey the diversity of the dance experience and a reassurance of its power to enter individual lives in significant ways.'
Elizabeth Cameron Dalman, Artistic Director of Mirramu Dance Company talks about her current collaboration with Dancecology from Taiwan and the DPAC Dance Company from Malaysia.
Slow touring expresses a desire (from artists, communities, tour presenters and funding bodies) for audiences to experience a deeper engagement with a touring performance, often through activities such as skill sharing (e.g., workshops, residencies, exchanges and collaborations) and collaboration on creative projects (e.g., recreating the work for/with local audiences). We highlight Shiver by Danielle Micich, a 2012 West Australian dance tour that successfully managed and delivered community engagement activities.
Dance touring in Australia is supported and delivered by touring and support organisations who deliver government funded touring programs and/or work with the many networks of presenting venues and tour coordinators. Here we briefly outline touring programs, mechanisms and industry organisations.
If you’ve ever wondered what happens each day of the festival, this video diary from the last AYDF gives you a taste of the festival experience. How does it feel to perform in a professional theatre before your peers? What type of dance will we make with the choreographic mentors? What are the other dancers like? What will I learn? What is site-specific performance? What is it like being a choreographic mentor? Young dancers and their choreographic mentors answer these questions and more.
Festival participants and choreographic mentors discuss movement, meaning, collaboration and site-specific performance.
It's standard Aussie holiday fare—families line the grassy foreshore, and picnics, cricket games and shrieking children abound. However, there are a few surprises in store along the foreshore on this particular Saturday. Scattered along the promenade are tents, caravans and campervans from a variety of eras, and 160 young dancers who dance in and around these temporary homes. This is Foreshore Cruisin', the performance that is the culmination of the 2009 Australian Youth Dance Festival (AYDF).
As soon as the lights and music started, I had this amazing feeling rush over me. It was then that I really knew that I was a part of something huge! Here I was, hours away from home, performing in a new town, right next to dancers from all over the country! Not only that, but I was dancing beside people from all different dance backgrounds and skill levels.
Both performances went so well that it was hard to believe we’d only choreographed the pieces a few days earlier. The show looked like we had been rehearsing together for months!
Tracey Brown and Sharon Teear, youth dance leaders from UK's Rubicon Dance, discuss their time at the 2006 Australian Youth Dance Festival with their youth dance group Nubrico.
The festival was great in exploring, sharing and learning different dance styles as well as sharing our passion for dance. Having the chance to go to Australia has been a fantastic experience for me and one that I will never forget! – Sophie
Kath Papas, Ausdance Victoria's EO during the 2006 AYDF, discusses the unique aspects of the 2006 AYDF in Horsham—its partnership with their annual arts festival, ‘Art is…’, establishing connections to the host community.